In Brooklyn, New York, there is a school named Chush that caters to learning-disabled children. At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by those who attended.
“Where is the perfection in my son Shaya?” he asked. “Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God’s perfection?”
At first, the audience was taken back by the father’s question. Then the father said, “I believe, that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that He seeks is in the way people react to this child.”
The father then shared a story. One day he and his son, Shaya, were walking through the park when they saw a group of boys playing baseball. Shaya wanted very much to join them, but his father hesitated. Would the other boys let Shaya play, or would they laugh at him and reject him? Surprisingly, the other boys allowed him to play. But it was obvious that Shaya had no athletic skills, and so he stayed on the bench most of the time.
In the ninth inning, the two teams were tied, and Shaya’s team had men on base. To everyone’s surprise, the captain allowed Shaya to bat. The pitcher, seeing Shaya’s nervousness, stepped forward a few feet and pitched the ball softly at Shaya. He swung and missed it. One of Shaya’s teammates stepped up behind him and placed his hands over Shaya’s. Together, they hit the next ball. It rolled to the feet of the pitcher, but the pitcher seemed not to notice it at first. “Run to first, Shaya! Run to first!” the father called and little Shaya ran with all his might to first base.
The pitcher finally picked up the ball and threw it over the head of the first baseman.
“Run to second, Shaya! Run to second!”
Well before he reached second base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would have tagged Shaya out. Instead, the right fielder threw the ball high and far over the second baseman’s head. Now the whole team was screaming, “Run to third, Shaya! Run to third!” Shaya made it to third just in time to see the left fielder throw the ball way over the third baseman’s head. Now everyone on the field was shouting as one, “Run home, Shaya! Run home!” Shaya made it to home plate, and there his team lifted him on their shoulders and carried him around the field like a conquering hero.
“That day,” said the father softly, with tears now rolling down his cheeks, “those eighteen boys reached their level of God’s perfection.”
God’s kingdom – fulfilled right there in that today.
This is what Jesus said he was going to bring to our world when in his first sermon he declared that he would bring good news to the poor, set the captives free, give sight to the blind, and bringing into our fallen world, the Spirit of God’s kingdom.
Eighteen boys did just that. Today we can too.
~ God bless, Dan